12 Ways to Find Inspiration When You Have Writer’s Block
Are you struggling to put words down on a page? I get writer’s block about once a year. Usually it’s seasonal – I’ll be super inspired in the spring, summer, and fall, and then totally dead in the creative waters from February through March.
I know it’s a winter slump, but even when I anticipate it, I still haven’t figured out the perfect way to get over it every time.
But here I’m going to share with you the ways I’ve managed to get through it. Writer’s block isn’t something to be ashamed of – it’s something to find your way through.
Here’s how I do it, and how I’ve managed to be productive, even in those slump months.
1. Go outside.
This may seem counterintuitive in the winter, but seeing the sky and breathing fresh air can go a long way to helping with inspiration.
2. Take a shower.
Taking a shower helps me get rid of all the other junk that’s cluttering my brain. I don’t worry about doing the dishes or what I’m going to make for dinner or if I remembered to take out the trash (I did, don’t worry).
Whether it’s at the gym (if it’s open), at home, or in a park, finding a way to get your heart rate up is a good opportunity to stimulate your brain and get the ideas flowing.
4. Watch TV, read a book, read a script.
I kind of categorize these all together. A lot of people just say to read something else, but I think anything that can get creative thoughts going is helpful.
Any non-writing creative activity is a great way to find inspiration when you have writer’s block.
5. Make other art.
Yes, writing is art. So is painting, pottery, sculpture, knitting… whatever other kinds of art you do. Do something else artistic. It’s a good way to relax and recharge.
6. Do your chores.
A lot of people think that doing the dishes is a way to procrastinate, but I think it’s a good way to brainstorm. You’re getting something important done around the house, but you can also get into a mental writing zone.
Whatever helps break you out of busy thoughts and into creative mode is a good thing. And, if it takes stress off your plate, that’s a win/win.
7. Text or call a friend.
Catch up with someone else.
Yes, most of these things are about doing other things with your brain. I personally think that’s one of the most helpful ways to get through writer’s block.
All writers get inspiration from their lives. Doing something else with your life, hearing about someone else’s life – it’s all part of the key ways to get inspiration when you have writer’s block.
8. Pomodoro yourself.
Do the pomodoro method. I don’t actually swear by this – it doesn’t work for me at all. But it works for a lot of my friends.
It forces them to write. And once you’ve started, you may find you have more energy than you thought.
Like I said – this doesn’t work for me. But, if you just need that extra push – this could be really helpful.
I have a writer friend who meditates every morning for 30 minutes before she does anything else.
Some people think meditation doesn’t work.
She’s a multi-millionaire success, with major hits in a number of creative fields. So… I’m not saying it’s the meditation that did it, but it can’t hurt!
10. Eat something.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten down to total stress levels from just forgetting to hydrate, eat, and do basic “life function” stuff.
This stuff is key to creativity. If your body isn’t functioning, your brain is gonna run out of energy.
Don’t forget to eat, drink, and rest.
11. Sleep is one of the best ways to get inspiration when you have writer’s block.
I genuinely believe this. Taking a nap has helped me numerous times. Whether you can fall asleep for 15-45 minutes or just lie in bed without distractions. Turn off that cell phone and put away your screens.
This actually brings me to my last tip, which works better than any of the others…
12. Write on paper.
If you’re used to screens, switching to a different medium can go a long way toward breaking through the fog of writer’s block.
Sometimes I’ll go out and buy a new notebook just to write something down.
I actually did this one summer, when I learned I was a finalist in a pitch session for a big contest.
I wasn’t home. I hadn’t even brought my computer with me on vacation.
I had my phone, so I got the alert – but I didn’t have anything to write with!
So, back to good old pen and paper.
And, guess what?
I won that pitch contest.
So – pen and paper, dudes. It helps.
Okay, there’s one more, I lied about 12…
13. Lucky number 13… Don’t Beat Yourself Up.
I can’t tell you how many times my own stress and self doubt get in the way of me writing.
Sure, if you’re on a deadline, meet your deadline. But if this is just about you vs. the page, adding shame to the situation is just going to make it harder.
It’s okay to be imperfect.
It’s okay to miss your page count.
It’s okay to realize halfway through that you should be writing something totally different.
I’ve been there.
And I survived.
You can use all these ways to find inspiration when you have writer’s block.
And, if they don’t work?
What are your tips and tricks that help you crack through writer’s block?